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Summary

  • Future Harry Potter movies should have consistent protagonists unlike the Fantastic Beasts trilogy.
  • Harry Potter movies must respect their own canon to avoid altering established storylines and character details.
  • Cohesive subplots are needed in future Harry Potter movies to prevent subplots from feeling like standalone stories.

The world of Harry Potter keeps expanding, and if the saga of The Boy Who Lived is to get more movies, it has many lessons to learn from the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. Although over a decade has passed since the Harry Potter saga ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the Wizarding World has continued its expansion in other areas. In 2016, the Wizarding World expanded with the prequel movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, based on the guidebook of the same name written in-universe by Newt Scamander.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them marked the beginning of a trilogy that explored the younger years of some well-known characters from the Harry Potter saga, such as Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, while also introducing new characters. Unfortunately, the Fantastic Beasts trilogy couldn’t match the quality and success of the Harry Potter saga and was further hurt by off-screen controversies, but as the Wizarding World keeps expanding, if there are more Harry Potter movies in the near future, there are some important lessons they should learn from Fantastic Beasts.

Related

The Potterverse: All The Wizarding World Films In Chronological Order

All the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films from WB and J K Rowling – from the Fantastic Beasts of the 20s to the Deathly Hallows.

Future Harry Potter Movies Need To Have Consistent Protagonists

Fantastic Beasts Started With One Protagonist & Ended Up With Another

It was clear throughout the whole movie series that its main focus was Harry Potter and his battle against Lord Voldemort. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for
Fantastic Beasts.

The Harry Potter saga has clear protagonists: on the side of the heroes is the title wizard and on the side of the villains is Lord Voldemort. The audience saw Harry Potter go from a young boy who lived with his abusive uncle, aunt, and cousin and had no idea he was a wizard to earning a spot in wizard history as one of the most powerful and brave ones, who, with the help of his many allies, managed to defeat Lord Voldemort. On the other side, viewers witnessed the rise of Voldemort after his near-fatal encounter with the Potters when Harry was a baby.

Voldemort went from being a myth as he was believed to be dead to regaining his full power and continuing his plans of pure-blood supremacy. Both Harry and Voldemort counted on the help of different characters with a variety of abilities and from different backgrounds, but it was clear throughout the whole movie series that its main focus was Harry Potter and his battle against Lord Voldemort. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Fantastic Beasts, which ended up changing protagonists.

Credence’s journey, the many mysteries of his origins, and Grindelwald’s plans became the main focus of the subsequent
Fantastic Beasts
movies.

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) was the main character in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and it was an exciting premise as it would go deeper into the many magical creatures in the Wizarding World that couldn’t be explored in the Harry Potter movies. However, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them had a twist at the end with the reveal of Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves actually being Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in disguise and Credence (Ezra Miller) escaping from MACUSA in a single wisp of his Obscurial form.

Credence’s journey, the many mysteries of his origins, and Grindelwald’s plans became the main focus of the subsequent Fantastic Beasts movies, with Newt feeling more like a filler character rather than the protagonist he was supposed to be. The addition of young Dumbledore (Jude Law) completed the shift of protagonists in the trilogy, making it increasingly messier and confusing. Future Harry Potter movies might opt to make changes to stand out from the original saga, but shouldn’t fall into the Fantastic Beasts trap with its main characters.

Harry Potter Movies Should Respect Their Own Canon

J.K. Rowling Messed With What She Created

harry-potter-albus-dumbledore-backstory-timeline-explained

As Rowling wrote the scripts for the
Fantastic Beasts
movies, she had full creative freedom with her own characters and stories.

One of the biggest problems of the world of Harry Potter is its ever-changing canon, which started before Fantastic Beasts jumped to the big screen. Through the official website Pottermore (now Wizarding World), J. K. Rowling shared extra details and information about the characters, events, and elements from the Wizarding World to expand on them and fill in many gaps. However, through these writings, Rowling ended up changing the canon she created more than once, and this continued throughout the Fantastic Beasts trilogy.

As Rowling wrote the scripts for the Fantastic Beasts movies (and co-wrote the one for The Secrets of Dumbledore with Steve Kloves), she had full creative freedom with her own characters and stories, but the changes she made to the Harry Potter canon weren’t well received. Changes to some of the characters’ ages (like Minerva McGonagall’s), their past as revealed in the Harry Potter books, and reveals like Nagini being a Maledictus and Credence being Aberforth Dumbledore’s sonmade little sense and directly affected the Harry Potter books and movies.

Any changes and additions to the Harry Potter canon in different movies should be to solve plot holes, mysteries, fill gaps in, and/or expand on the characters’ stories, rather than making changes just for the sake of the current story. After the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, what the Harry Potter movies need is consistency and clarity.

Future Harry Potter Movies Need Cohesive Subplots

Fantastic Beasts’ Subplots Felt Like Different Movies

Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald

With a world as extensive and rich as that of Harry Potter, subplots are inevitable and even necessary so the audience can learn more about other characters and their place in the overall story – however, the problem is when the subplots feel like movies of their own. This was one of the main problems with Credence’s subplot in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, as his story was too complex to be just a subplot in what was initially Newt’s story. The Obscurial connection between Newt’s story and Credence’s felt forced, and Credence’s story ended up taking over the trilogy.

Subplots in future
Harry Potter
movies should be part of the overall story and have clear connections and purposes within it.

Newt ended up becoming the subplot in what was initially supposed to be a spinoff trilogy based on him and the title fantastic creatures, and the movies kept trying to find ways to still make him and the creatures part of the story while other characters took over. Subplots in future Harry Potter movies should be part of the overall story and have clear connections and purposes within it, rather than setting up stories that shift the main focus and would have been better explored in separate movies.

New Harry Potter Movies Need A Clear Plan

Fantastic Beasts Aimed Too High With A Five-Movie Plan

Collage of images from Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter movies

The Fantastic Beasts movies had the big challenge of there only being one book that could be used as a basis, and yet, the book is a guidebook of magical creatures, not Newt’s adventures. After the release of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, Rowling revealed plans for a film series of five movies, which came as a surprise to director David Yates (via Inside Total Film). With no clear direction in the movies, it’s not surprising that the five-movie plan didn’t happen, and even the trilogy as it is ended up feeling like a stretch.

Future
Harry Potter
movies need to have a clear and well-established idea of how much they will cover, for how long, and what stories and characters will be featured.

Harry Potter’s story has the advantage of having been developed through seven books, which then became eight movies, but if the novels are to have another film adaptation, the production team behind them needs to have a clear plan. A new Harry Potter movie series could take it one book at a time and be seven movies long, or could opt for a slower pace and split some of the heaviest books into two parts.

Whatever the case, future Harry Potter movies need to have a clear and well-established idea of how much they will cover, for how long, and what stories and characters will be featured, which is everything the Fantastic Beasts trilogy failed to do.

Source: Inside Total Film.



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